I'm attempting to loop through authors during my wordpress blog but something strange keeps happening, most likely because I've not fully understood ways to use the functions. After I do that:

$authors = $wpdb->get_results('SELECT DISTINCT post_author FROM '.$wpdb->posts);
foreach($authors as $author):
if(the_author_meta('display_name', $author->post_author) != 'admin'): //my line

I'm attempting to exclude the "admin" user from the loop, however when I execute this. I recieve the all authors names proven two times around the page such as the admin. Therefore the conditional isn't serving as a conditional but instead an echo!

Things I am doing wrong?

Thanks all

Use *get_the_author_meta()*, and and never *the_author_meta()*. The main one you are using echos leads to the browser included in the function.